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Questions tagged [tznius-modesty]

Questions about the Jewish laws and customs of modesty in dress, speech, and behavior.

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28 votes
4 answers
7k views

Shaking hands with the opposite gender?

What's the story: Can a man shake hands with a woman (or vice versa) in a business setting?
Shalom's user avatar
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38 votes
4 answers
8k views

What are the sources for women to wear/ not wear pants?

I have heard that the argument is beged ish / kli gever, and I have heard people say that even if that was once a real reason for it it doesn't apply today for various reasons. I understand that the ...
MEG's user avatar
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41 votes
23 answers
10k views

How to tactfully circumvent opposite-gender handshake

Say you're a man in a professional setting, and a woman who isn't used to dealing with observant Jews stretches out her hand to greet you -- but your practice is to avoid shaking hands even in ...
Dave's user avatar
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15 votes
7 answers
905 views

Saying words of prayer or Torah while an immodest photo or drawing is in your field of vision?

The halachah is clear (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 75) that one may not recite Shema, or any other words of Torah or prayer, while in the presence of parts of the human body that should be covered. ...
Alex's user avatar
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15 votes
4 answers
2k views

Yaakov Kissing Rachel

In Parashat Vayetzeh, Yaakov goes to Lavan's house, but prior to his arrival he meets up with Rachel. Shockingly, the Pasuk says that he kissed her and cried (29:11). How exactly are we to understand ...
AEML's user avatar
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10 votes
1 answer
1k views

What are the Halachot of Tznius as they relate to men? [closed]

What are the Halachot of Tznius as they relate specifically to men. Not men in relation to women. In other words, I'm not looking for "Men must act in a certain way when around women," I'm looking ...
Shmuel's user avatar
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14 votes
5 answers
3k views

Is a mechitza required for dancing at Jewish weddings? Why?

If the men and women aren't dancing together, is it strictly required that there also be a mechitza between them? If so, why? What guidelines would this mechitza have to meet? Or is it simply a smart ...
Shalom's user avatar
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7 votes
3 answers
697 views

What is the status of the psak of a Maharat?

If an orthodox male Rabbi bestows semicha on a woman (dubbed Maharat), what is the status of her halachic decisions? This question is irrespective of whether or not the male Rabbi should confer ...
user avatar
13 votes
4 answers
3k views

Woman's hair covering in the home or in private

Trying to sort out my question, I came across this one, which is closely related, but it is not an exact duplicate. According to those who say a woman must cover her hair, not just her head (those ...
Seth J's user avatar
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12 votes
2 answers
2k views

What is the conceptual definition of tzniut?

When the concept of tzniut is discussed it is defined as 'modesty' and used overwhelmingly in regard to sexuality. However we know there are other uses for the term such as from the gemarah (Megillah ...
none's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
1k views

In a non-life-threatening emergency, can a female doctor do a hospital procedure on a male or vice versa?

Surgery usually requires viewing parts of a naked person. Are there halachic problems with a doctor of opposite gender doing this on a Jewish patient? If the procedure is one where part of the body ...
DanF's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
738 views

What is the source for a woman's voice as ervah?

What is the source that a woman's (singing) voice is considered ervah?
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25 votes
5 answers
5k views

What is the original halachic source for a woman covering her collarbones out of modesty (tznius)?

Many contemporary instructions on women's modesty (tznius) say that necklines have to be high enough to cover the collarbones. I can certainly accept that if this is the communal standard, it should ...
Shalom's user avatar
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16 votes
3 answers
12k views

Why do divorced or widowed women still need to cover their hair?

I was recently reading the latest edition of Halachically Speaking. It says: A woman who is a widow r”l or divorcee still has an obligation to cover her hair. But why is this so? Why should they ...
yydl's user avatar
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12 votes
2 answers
7k views

What are "universal minimum" standards of tznius for halachic purposes?

What are the minimum standards of tznius for halachic purposes? By "halachic purposes" I mean Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 75, which forbids praying in the presence of ervah. I am raising the question ...
SAH's user avatar
  • 20k
12 votes
1 answer
1k views

Married woman covering hair

Is it strictly necessary for a married woman to keep her hair covered in the following situations? If not, how important is it? 1) When alone in the house 2) When alone (or with husband) in the ...
Dave's user avatar
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7 votes
3 answers
422 views

Keeping up with "local" standards of modesty and dress - of religious Jews, or of society at large

In dealing with issues relating to Tzeni'uth (modesty) and clothing, a lot depends on "local" standards of dress. For example, the RaMBa"M (here) explains that in places where women do not normally go ...
Seth J's user avatar
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6 votes
2 answers
729 views

Laws pertaining to dress for men during fitness activities

What are the rules pertaining to a male doing a physical activity: If the kipa keeps falling off, is it necessary to wear it? What about modesty? If in the comfort of your own home, can you go ...
Ani Yodea's user avatar
  • 13.2k
21 votes
3 answers
6k views

Mixed swimming in a pool?

What are the issues with mixed swimming, from a tzniut point of view? Does it make a difference if the swimmers are or aren't Jewish? For example, are there issues with me swimming with my wife and a ...
Naftuli Kay's user avatar
  • 3,934
12 votes
4 answers
678 views

When and why did the custom that a Nidda hides from the public that she is a Nidda start

I understand that in the past it was not hidden from the public that a Nidda was a Nidda, as they wore special clothing. As we see the רע"ב's explanation in the Mishna in Kethubot 7:6 ...
hazoriz's user avatar
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10 votes
4 answers
948 views

How could we learn behavior from animals?

The gemarah in Eruvin 100b says that had the Torah not been give we would have learned various behaviors from certain animals, such as modesty from the cat. To me this presupposes that had the Torah ...
user avatar
9 votes
5 answers
3k views

Is there a halachik problem with wearing shorts while davening?

I have often heard that one should not wear shorts while davening. This makes intuitive sense to me that we should do this out of respect. But is there any halachic reasoning behind this? Is it ...
Daniel's user avatar
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9 votes
1 answer
859 views

Is modesty a positive or negative commandment?

Given that: There are two types of Mitzvoth (commandments), 'Aseh and Lo Ta'aseh (positive and negative; ie., "Thou Shalt" and "Thou Shalt Not"). a. Positive commandments, with some exceptions can ...
Seth J's user avatar
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7 votes
2 answers
600 views

Who is liable in kol isha and tznius situations?

If a woman starts singing in a room with men, despite knowing they observe kol isha, is she liable for her voice being heard or are the men that hear her liable? If a woman dresses non-tznius in ...
Shmuel's user avatar
  • 99
4 votes
1 answer
425 views

How is lack of tznius lifnei eiver?

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, zt’l in Yechaveh Da’as III #67 indicates that a woman who dresses immodestly violates lifnei eiver. How/why does a woman dressing immodestly transgress the prohibition of lifnei ...
please remove my account's user avatar
19 votes
2 answers
4k views

Can you see your wife unclothed?

I think someone in another question here (or on another site?) said he was told by his "chassan teacher" not to look at his wife unclothed. It seems like this is not the real halacha to me, or at ...
Desert Star's user avatar
  • 3,403
17 votes
4 answers
1k views

The practice of (not) printing pictures of women in magazines and newspapers under religious auspices

I was reading a My Encounter the other week (not available online) which had an interview with the editor of The Moshiach Times. In it he described how the practice of other religious magazines at the ...
Yishai's user avatar
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16 votes
1 answer
1k views

Definition of mini-skirt in Yabia Omer YD 6:14

In Yabia Omer YD 6:14, Rav Ovadia Yosef ruled that it is preferable for a woman to wear women's pants than to wear a "mini-skirt" (חצאית-מיני). He writes that a full skirt is preferable to both. In ...
Double AA's user avatar
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16 votes
4 answers
1k views

Standing up at the Chuppa when the Kallah passes by

Last night I was at a wedding, and when I stood up as the bride was passing by on the way to the Chuppa, a fellow in all seriousness told me "It is not proper and a lack of Tzniyus to stand up for the ...
Gershon Gold's user avatar
15 votes
3 answers
2k views

Why can men wear pants if pants are immodest?

I have a question from another post here. If pants are considered to be immodest garments in general, aside from the issue of them being a male garment, why are they permissible for men to wear? Are ...
יוחנן-John's user avatar
15 votes
5 answers
2k views

What is the source that forbids indecent dress by women?

I have been hardpressed finding a source for something that would seem to be such a well known Halacha. I (and most other too probably) have been brought up with the belief that it is forbidden for a ...
Yehuda's user avatar
  • 6,034
15 votes
2 answers
2k views

Why is hair sometimes considered *erva* (nakedness) but sometimes not?

Why do people say that the hair of a married woman is considered as nakedness, but not the hair of a single woman? Isn't hair just hair? What if a man grew his hair long - would it also be ...
Adam Mosheh's user avatar
  • 6,029
15 votes
3 answers
1k views

May a woman with artifical metal legs wear a short skirt or pants?

May a woman (or a man) wear immodest clothing over an artificial part of her body? (Lets assume that beged ish is not a consideration) i.e. if she has artifical legs, may she wear short shorts? ...
Clint Eastwood's user avatar
14 votes
3 answers
2k views

Can a Sheitel be made out of one's own hair?

Suppose a married woman is able to create a Sheitel that is entirely made up of her own hair (detached, of course). Does that satisfy the requirement for covering her hair?
yydl's user avatar
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12 votes
1 answer
1k views

Is it permissible for a man to be seen without a shirt?

In many parts of the United States, it is socially acceptable for a man to be without a shirt while working at a physical activity. Examples might be cutting grass or digging a hole in the summertime....
Mike's user avatar
  • 5,435
12 votes
8 answers
1k views

Is there any source that says that women should / should not get drunk on Purim?

The prevalent מנהג is that women do not get drunk on Purim. I assume this due to tznius (modesty) concerns. Is there any ancient or recent source that explicitly discusses women not/yes drinking on ...
Eliyahu's user avatar
  • 2,064
11 votes
1 answer
5k views

Tznius In Regards to Covering Elbows

Are there sources that say women do not have to cover elbows? Because I've seen Orthodox women not covering them and I want to be able to say that there are sources that support their actions.
Matthew Miller's user avatar
11 votes
4 answers
6k views

Nudity at home?

I have read that Hashem hates public nudity, but what is the Jewish position on nudity at home in front of other family members? Obviously, the short answer is bad, don't do it. Modesty is a ...
Michael Sandler's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
1k views

Is there an actual mitzvah for women to dress tzanua in and of itself?

Is there an actual mitzvah for women to dress tzanua in and of itself? Or is it simply helping out a man's mitzvah of not looking at ervah when learning/saying brachas, and not being led to forbidden ...
DaagahMinayin's user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
2k views

What are some sources which discuss tzniut for men?

Does anyone know any halachic sources or books which discuss tzniut (modesty) for men? Can a women see a man's chest? Legs, etc.? Which books deal with these issues, if any?
RationlistYid's user avatar
5 votes
4 answers
2k views

Hair Covering Before Marriage?

Are there any communities in America or Israel where women cover their hair before marriage? Do Satmar women cover their hair before marriage?
user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
863 views

Does a home megilla reading require separate seating (or a mechitza) between men and women?

Occasionally people hold additional megillah readings in someone's home on Purim. Assuming there's no prayers other than the megillah reading and its associated brachas, must/should there be a ...
Shalom's user avatar
  • 134k
4 votes
4 answers
1k views

Are men allowed to listen to women on the radio?

Is a man allowed to listen to a woman on the radio? Would it change if you saw the actual girl (e.g. on TV singing)? Related: What is the source for a woman's voice as ervah?
user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
711 views

What is the Heter for the prevalent Clothing among Women?

The Eida HaChareidis1 paskened (and R' Wosner agreed) in accordance with the Mishna Berura2, who requires women to go in public places only when wearing redid (a head-covering wrapping the entire body ...
Adám's user avatar
  • 6,821
2 votes
1 answer
649 views

Which communities do not allow women to drive cars?

Which communities do not allow women to drive cars? I know the Belzer hassidim do not allow this, but I do not know about any other communities.
far22's user avatar
  • 1,550
30 votes
10 answers
12k views

Men: how do you control your reactions to women in immodest dress if you can't avoid them?

A question on The Workplace from a man uncomfortable with the dress of some of his new, female coworkers got a highly-voted answer saying that you get used to it and he should just wait it out. That ...
Monica Cellio's user avatar
21 votes
4 answers
1k views

How does an outsider know how to dress for a particular Orthodox community?

Standards of dress (at least for women) aren't nearly as consistent within Orthodoxy as we might wish. Wearing exactly the same halachically-correct clothing I have been under-dressed in some places ...
Monica Cellio's user avatar
18 votes
4 answers
3k views

May a man become a gynecologist?

Is there any discussion among the halachic authorities as to whether or not a man can choose to pursue a medical career in gynaecology? The issue that I would presume exists is that unlike other parts ...
user avatar
16 votes
3 answers
2k views

The laws behind the separation of men and women

In Israel there is a hot debate because of instances on some communities where extra steps are taken to separate men and women in every day life. For example in some bus lines women seat in the back ...
Nathan H's user avatar
  • 2,659
15 votes
1 answer
2k views

Male tzniut: Swimwear

Seeing as summer is coming, I thought I'd clear up a few questions about male tzniut with regards to swimwear. Namely, my real question is: what is required? I live in southern California, so outside ...
Naftuli Kay's user avatar
  • 3,934